Lesson #1: American Mosaic "Grand Central Terminal Turns 100"

Famous New York Train Station Turns 100  - This is the first part of an episode of American Mosaic.  The audio and transcript include two other stories as well, but you only need to listen to and read the first part for this lesson.

  1. Listening/Reading

    1. Prelistening:

      1. What do you know about trains in the United States?  What do you know about transportation in New York?  Is the U.S. famous for trains?  What kind of transportation do they mostly use now? When do you think trains may have been important in the U.S.?  Hint: The United States is very large geographically, and the industrial revolution was in the mid 1800’s.  Google for answers if you’re unsure.

    2. First time listening to the audio.  

      1. Write down any words you think you many need, then listen to the audio here:  

        1. http://learningenglish.voanews.com/audio/Audio/258496.html

      2. Second time - Listen to the audio again.  This time feel free to use the transcript as well.  Note you can double click on any word to see a definition. Take notes and write down any words you had to look up.

        1. http://learningenglish.voanews.com/content/article/1604096.html

    3. Comprehension - If you understood the text, you should be able to answer the questions below.  If not, refer to the text again.

      1. What is Grand Central Terminal?

      2. Do people still use the station?

      3. How does the floor help prevent people from bumping into one another?  Hint: On a checkerboard, how many checkers fit into each square?

  2. Speaking

    1. Prepare for a conversation with your language partner.  Write down questions about transportation in their country?  What’s the most common?  When do people drive, ride bikes, take the train, or fly?  Which do they prefer? What was it like 100 years ago?  Etc

    2. Meet with your language partner.  Try your best to only speak in English for 30 minutes.  Of course, be sure to then provide your partner with an equal amount of time to practice our native language as well.

  3. Writing

    1. Write a summary of your exchange with your partner on the Mixxer blog.  Write a description about different forms of transportation in their country.